Good Morning Team,
I am sure that you know that safety isn’t just about your own wellbeing, it often means looking out for others. The safety of our customers, residents and tenants are a high priority, but we should always be proactive in making sure that our coworkers are working safely too. If we observe a coworker doing something that could be done safer shouldn’t we say something to them about it? What if they are using a ladder incorrectly, or maybe they should be wearing safety glasses? Isn’t it incumbent upon us to bring it to their attention to prevent an injury? Afterall, if we witness someone being unsafe and say nothing to them then aren’t we just as culpable in the event an accident or injury does occur?
You should have no issues about notifying a co-worker that something they are doing could be done in a safer way. I am sure that whomever it is you are talking to will instantly realize that you are right. They might even be thankful that you did. I would like to think that they weren’t working unsafely on purpose, but were somehow distracted just enough to have missed that fact themselves. If you are the one being reminded that you are working unsafely, then make sure that you respond appropriately and adjust your processes accordingly. We are all on the same team here. In the unlikely event you happen upon a coworker that doesn’t heed your safety warning, then you really have no choice but to go to your supervisor. This may feel uncomfortable, but remember that you have the best interests of that individual, as well as those working around them, in mind.
Now what about those contractors we sometimes have on our properties? Do we need to remind them about working safely when we happen to see that one of them isn’t? I believe that we absolutely must. An accident causing injury is bad no matter who it happens to. It could also cause property damage or injury to innocent bystanders if we simply let it slide. I have often heard others say that it can be hard to speak to those “professionals” and sometimes they don’t listen. I remind you that if they are working on your property then you have every right to speak up if something unsafe is happening. While we might run up against an individual or two that seems unwilling to change, we will still have done the right thing.
And if they should ultimately refuse to make the effort to work safer then speaking to their supervisor, or notifying your own to do that instead, might be the next step. If, after even that, it appears that nothing is changing, then perhaps that contractor is not a good fit for us. While I have witnessed my fair share of “safety fails” from individuals working for outside contractors, I will say in their defense that I have also learned a thing or two about how to work more safely as well. Just as our company cares about our own safety, most business owners realize that protecting the safety of their employees is a large part of their continued success.
No matter who we talk to about safety, it’s very important to remember that the message we are trying to deliver is about preventing an injury or accident. In that case we can surely find ways to deliver that message so that it shows that we truly care about their welfare. If we are rude or authoritarian while doing so it might cause the person hearing it to miss the overall point. Just speak to them in a friendly and open manner and voice your concerns, you may be surprised just how easy it is to help them out. On the other hand, if you happen to be the one that is being reminded about a safety issue, then you should accept the warning gracefully and even appreciate the fact that someone else is actually looking out for you.
Safety is everyone’s right as well as everyone’s responsibility. If we always act on those premises then we are all the safer for it.
Have a great week and let’s all work safely.
Dir. of Facilities Services